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A WILD TURKEY DINNER
Charlotte Adams
December 23, 1957
The most elusive game bird, photographed on the preceding pages, makes one of the most festive of holiday meals. Here's how to do him justice
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December 23, 1957

A Wild Turkey Dinner

The most elusive game bird, photographed on the preceding pages, makes one of the most festive of holiday meals. Here's how to do him justice

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The lucky cook who is privileged to prepare a wild turkey should offer that bird the respect due a gustatory treat so hard to come by. Such a prize should be the focal point of the whole meal in which it appears. Other foods should complement the bird, not battle with it for supremacy. If you haven't a hunter in the family fortunate enough to have bagged this elusive fowl, the firm of E. Joseph, 177 Franklin St., New York City, will ship one anywhere in the country—in feather or oven-ready, packed in dry ice. Their birds weigh eight to 13 pounds, and although the price varies, it will be about $2.25 per pound. Wild turkey is not gamy in flavor, though it is quite different from the domestic bird. Use a simple dressing of dry bread crumbs, finely chopped celery and onions saut�ed in butter, and a dash of poultry seasoning (not much). Spoon this lightly into the bird and sew up or skewer the openings. Salt and pepper the skin. Crush juniper berries in a mortar with a pestle and rub this all over the bird. Truss as follows: Pull legs upward and tie them together with string (see drawing). Turn wings under back and pass a string across the breast. Turn turkey on breast and pass each string end forward over the front and tip of one of the wings and across the back of the other wing. Tie securely in the middle of the back. Place the trussed bird, breast up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast in preheated 350� oven about 20 minutes to the pound. Baste every 15 minutes with a dry white wine.

THE MENU

GREEN TURTLE SOUP WITH SHERRY
TOASTED CRACKERS
ROAST WILD TURKEY
BREAD SAUCE
CURRANT JELLY
CHESTNUT PUREE
BRAISED LEEKS
APPLE CITRON PIE

BREAD SAUCE
Put into top of double boiler, over hot water, two cups of milk, a peeled onion stuck with cloves, and � cup fine dry bread crumbs. Cook half an hour. Remove onion. Add salt to taste and a few grains cayenne pepper. Saut� a cup of coarse dry bread crumbs in butter until golden brown, stirring constantly. Stir into first mixture.

CHESTNUT PUREE
Shell and peel fresh chestnuts. Boil until soft, drain, mash and combine with butter and cream. Season to taste. Or buy the canned, unsweetened variety to save trouble, although the end prod-duct will not be as good.

BRAISED LEEKS
Cut off green tops of leeks to within an inch and a half of the white part and remove the "beards" at the bottom. Saut� in butter until lightly browned, turning frequently. Add a small amount of chicken stock (which you can make from a cube or powder if you haven't any of the homemade variety) and simmer, covered, until leeks are tender (about 30 minutes).

APPLE CITRON PIE
Line a deep pie plate with rich pastry. Fill it with thinly sliced tart apples, putting bits of butter here and there between layers. Sprinkle with � cup sugar and � cup citron, cut fine. Spread two tablespoons of apple jelly over all. Top with crust and bake 45 minutes in 350� oven.

Serve a fino sherry along with the soup. I would suggest that a dry white wine accompany the rest of the meal because you have basted the turkey with it. I know, though, that there are those to whom it is inconceivable that one would serve anything but red wine (dry, of course) with such a feast. If you are of that school, baste your wild turkey with red wine, too. It will be good, but I think the white does less to mask the subtle and distinctive flavor of this bird. This meal is such stuff as dreams are made on, and rare enough to merit the attention and relish of those who will enjoy it to the full—two of whom, naturally, will be the hunter and the cook!

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